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Legality vs. Morality

在今天的福音中,記述了耶穌和法利塞人再次在安息日中起了衝突。在會堂裡有一個枯手的人,這人的病不是急性的,耶穌本來可以在另一個時間治好他;但耶穌很清楚法利塞人心中所想,祂不但要在安息日治好這枯手的人,還特別叫他站在中間,叫眾人都看見祂所要行的事。 [...]

Sayings on Discipleship

For because many of those that accompanied Him followed not with their whole heart, but lukewarmly, He shows what kind of a man his disciple ought to be. But it may be asked, how are we bid to hate our parents and our relations in the flesh, who are commanded to love even our enemies? But if we weigh the force of the command we […] [...]

The Purpose of the Law

我們在四部福音中都能看到耶穌和法利塞人之間的衝突往往跟如何守安息日有關。在今天的福音,門徒們在安息日掐麥穗的舉動引發衝突,但隨後耶穌卻藉這事去表明「人子是安息日的主」。 門徒們掐麥穗吃的行為一連觸犯安息日的四個禁令:掐麥穗違反收割禁令;用手搓的動作違反打穀禁令;把殼拋開違反簸穀禁令;吃下麥子違反預備食物禁令。面對謹守律法的法利塞人,耶穌以達味吃供餅的例子來說明:人的需要勝於律法禮規,重要的是律法的精神和目的,而非外在的形式。 [...]

The Question about Fasting

Observe the pharisees’ perseverance in malice: as soon as they have received the first answer from Christ, they proceed from one thing to another, with the intent to show that the holy disciples, and Jesus Himself with them, cared very little for the law. Hence it follows, “Why do the disciples of John fast, but you eat, etc.” As if they [...]

Jesus called Fishers of Men

耶穌被群眾擠擁得上了船,然後坐在船上繼續教訓群眾。聖經中,船常代表教會,所以祂選擇上了西滿的船施教,相信有預告的意味。祂行為的次序也好像別有深意:祂首先在西滿的船繼續施教;然後吩咐西滿划到深處,去撒網捕魚;最後召叫西滿做捕人的漁夫。 西滿大概早已驚嘆於祂的教導,所以即使自知在捕魚方面更有經驗,他還是謙恭地稱耶穌為老師,並遵照祂的話,在自己認為沒有魚的地方撒網。當看見自己網了很多魚,多得網險些破裂並裝滿了兩隻船後,西滿明白眼前人並不簡單,便自慚形穢,對耶穌說:「主,請你離開我!因為我是個罪人。」可是耶穌還是召叫他跟隨祂,成為捕人的漁夫。 [...]

Pope Francis to youths: Are you willing to be the hope of all people?

(Vatican Radio) The recent World Youth Day celebrations in Brazil were the focus of Pope Francis’ catechetical reflections on Wednesday at the weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The Holy Father concentrated on three main motifs of the weeklong gathering: “welcoming”, “celebration” and “mission”. [...]

Healing in Body and Soul

Luke, having first introduced a man delivered from an evil spirit, goes on to relate the healing of a woman. For our Lord had come to heal each sex, and he ought first to be healed who was first created. Hence it is said, “And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house.” For Jesus honored His disciples by dwelling among [...]

The Authority of Jesus

耶穌離開納匝肋以後,到了葛法翁。祂教訓人時,人們都感覺到祂的話有一種權威。祂不像經師們要引述其他權威,祂的權威直接來自天主,是祂自己的。祂有權威,因為祂有一種獨有的智慧,能使人有力量改變。 在會堂裏有一個附著邪魔惡鬼的人,邪魔害怕耶穌的大能,說:「你來毀滅我們嗎?我知道你是誰:你是天主的聖者。」 [...]

Pope Francis: The use of violence never brought peace

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the entire Mideast region, and throughout the whole world to be held this coming Saturday, September 7th, 2013. The Pope made the announcement during the course of remarks ahead of the traditional Angelus prayer this Sunday. Pope Francis said: “Peace is [...]

The Rejection at Nazareth

When our Lord came to Nazareth, He refrains from miracles, lest He should provoke the people to greater malice. But He sets before them His teaching no less wonderful than His miracles. For there was a certain ineffable grace in our Savior’s words which softened the hearts of the hearers. But foolish men though wondering at the power of His words [...]

Pope Francis: Sept 7 – A day of prayer and fasting for peace

教宗方濟各呼籲大家於9月7日為敘利亞、整個中東地區以及全世界的和平守齋祈禱。他說:「在星期六,9月7日,由晚上7時直到午夜,我們會聚集在這裡(聖伯多祿廣場)祈禱,懷著懺悔的心,去祈求天主賜和平這美好的禮物予敘利亞以及世上所有發生衝突和暴力的地方。」教宗也邀請非天主教的基督徒和其他宗教信徒用任何他們認為適合的方式參與祈禱日。 [...]

Whoever humbles himself will be exalted

在今天的福音中,耶穌到了法利塞人家中吃飯。那天是安息日,他們細心觀察耶穌會否做些甚麼,讓他們找到逮捕祂的理由。在新約中,基督徒一起聚餐本來應該充滿喜樂,是一個共融的時刻。但在這個宴會裡,被邀請的人忙著爭坐首席,人們互相視對方為敵人。 耶穌留意到這情況,便以說比喻的方式教導他們。祂警告爭取上座這種行動也許帶來不能預期的消極後果,因為可能有身份地位更高的客人會來到,主人將因而要求這些原本爭得上座的人讓位,他們便會因自己的行動而導致公開的蒙羞。 [...]

The Parable of the Talents

The man traveling into a far country is our Redeemer, who ascended into heaven in that flesh which He had taken upon Him. For the proper home of the flesh is the earth, and it travels into a foreign country, when it is placed by the Redeemer in heaven. Calling together the Apostles, He gave them the Gospel doctrine, to one more, to another less, […] [...]

Parable of the Ten Virgins

在瑪竇福音中耶穌一連三個比喻,都是提醒我們一件事:為人子第二次來臨作好準備。 新郎是比喻耶穌基督,那十個等待迎接新郎的童女就是教會,進入婚宴就好比進入天國;我們在祈禱中常念:「願祢的國來臨」,但沒有人知道耶穌再度來臨並帶我們進入天國那日子何時會來。就是因為不知道,所以耶穌提醒我們總有些人因見祂遲遲還未回來,就態度變得鬆散,沒有遵從天主的教誨來生活。耶穌將會對這些人說:「我不認識你們。」就像那五個糊塗的童女雖然帶了燈,卻沒有足夠的油,新郎到來時想請求別人幫助已是不可能。 [...]

The Passion of Saint John the Baptist

The beheading of John the Baptist signifies the lessening of that fame, by which he was thought to be Christ by the people, as the raising of our Savior on the cross represents the advance of the faith, in that Jesus Himself, who was first looked upon as a prophet by the multitude, was recognized as the Son of God by all the faithful; where […] [...]

Pharisaical Pride

今天的福音記載了耶穌指責經師和法利塞人「七禍哉」中的第六和第七禍哉。 耶穌說:「你們好像用石灰刷白的墳墓:外面看來華麗,裏面卻滿是死者的骨骸和各樣的污穢。」由於地勢的關係,在以色列是比較難開發墳墓,當時的人會把屍體安放在山洞或從岩石鑿出的洞內,並用一塊大石堵住洞口。當屍體腐化到只剩下骨頭時,人們會把骨頭放在骨罐內,讓出墳墓給另一家人使用。按猶太人的法律,踏入墓地會使人不潔,不潔的人不能進入聖殿。為了方便辨認那個山洞內有屍體,人們會把葬了人的山洞刷白,以免人誤闖墳墓而變得不潔。 [...]

Denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees

天主吩咐過司祭和肋未人,人民十分之一的收成該獻於聖所,並歸於上主。法利塞人只關注這些事情,卻忽略了天主更重要的教導。他們嚴格仔細地計算穀物十分之一的奉獻,卻沒有在交易中履行正義、沒有憐憫窮人、沒有重視對上主的信德,這些其實都是更重要。忽略什一之物比忽略仁義的罪疚輕得多,所以主耶穌斥責他們:「瞎眼的嚮導!你們濾出蚊蚋,卻吞下了駱駝。」 [...]

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees

在今天和未來兩天的福音,耶穌指責經師和法利塞人七次,人們稱為「七禍哉」。今天福音記載了首三項。 耶穌首先指責他們:「禍哉,你們經師和法利塞假善人!因為你們給人封閉了天國:你們不進去,也不讓願意進去的人進去。」我們可從兩方面理解耶穌的話。一方面這是指經師和法利塞人拒絕耶穌,而祂本身就是天國的化身。祂宣講天國,藉著祂,所有願意的人都有機會進入天國。另一方面,經師們把律法詮譯得很複雜,令守律法變得近乎不可能。不論我們是父母、教師、神父或修女,我們也要檢討自己的行為有否阻礙別人走近耶穌,而自己也遠離祂。 [...]

The Narrow Door

當耶穌談及窄門時,祂說我們要「竭力」,除非我們用意志勇敢地奮鬥,我們是不能抵擋世俗的巨浪的,我們的靈魂將再次被投進深淵。在世上,導入喪亡的道路十分寬闊,而導入生命的路是多麼狹窄,稍微轉身,不論轉左或轉右,都是很危險的,就像在一道橋上,滑向哪一邊都會跌入河裡。人的靈魂左搖右擺,有時候當想到永遠的時候,人會選擇行善,而在其他時候,當人只想著現在的一刻,他寧願選擇享樂。 [...]

Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle

今天教會慶祝宗徒聖巴爾多祿茂的慶日。他在若望福音被稱為納塔乃耳。當斐理伯對他說耶穌就是舊約預許的默西亞,憑福音的描述,我們可以想像納塔乃耳聳聳肩,說:「從納匝肋還能出什麼好事嗎?」他對來自那地方的人沒有絲毫期望。但因著斐理伯對他的邀請,他還是去看看。 [...]

The Greatest Commandment

Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” You shall love, not ‘fear,’ for to love is more than to fear; to fear belongs to slaves, to love to sons; fear is in compulsion, love in freedom. Whoever serves God in fear escapes punishment, but has not the reward of [...]

Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Memorial)

聖母元后(紀念) 教宗庇護十二世在 1954 年定下日子讓教會慶祝聖母為天地元后。這紀念日本在五月三十一日,到 1970 年被改為聖母升天後的第八日。 教會尊耶穌之母為元后,在聖經是有跡可尋的。在路加福音中,天使加俾額爾向瑪利亞預報說,天主要把達味的御座賜給她的兒子,他的王權沒有終結。後來當瑪利亞向依撒伯爾請安,依撒伯爾充滿了聖神回應:「在女人中妳是蒙祝福的,妳的胎兒也是蒙祝福的。吾主的母親駕臨我這裡,這是我那裡得來的呢?看,妳請安的聲音一入我耳,胎兒就在我腹中歡喜踴躍。那信了由上主傳於她的話必要完成的,是有福的。」既然耶穌是普世的君王,祂的王權沒有終結,那麼祂的母親瑪利亞在升天後被尊為后,是合情合理的。 [...]

Workers in the Vineyard

There are many come to the faith, yet but few arrive at the heavenly kingdom; many follow God in words, but ignore Him in their daily lives. Immediately two things come to mind. The first, that none should presume concerning himself; for though he be called to the faith, he knows not whether he shall be chosen to the kingdom. Secondly, that none should [...]

Camel through the eye of a needle

在今天的福音中,耶穌繼續談及財富如何影響人能否得救。耶穌用了一個很形象化的比喻:「駱駝穿過針孔,比富人進天國還容易。」我們聽到耶穌這句話,可能有些不舒服。即使我們不算富有,大概也希望看見那些憑著自己努力的人能賺取應得的財富。如果一個人付出血汗,賺得很多金錢,這有什麼不妥? [...]